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Experts Address the Effect Poverty has on Black Families

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Experts Address the Effect Poverty has on Black Families
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The Seventh Annual Black Family Summit
Jasmine Ellis

Experts are addressing the effect poverty has on Black families and their ability to generate wealth. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.

Black Mississippians are discussing what they can do to tackle poverty and build wealth in their communities during the Black Family Summit at the Mississippi e-Center in Jackson. According to the most recent Survey of Consumer Finances from the Federal Reserve, white families had a median net worth of $171,000. And Black families had a median net worth of $17,600. Linda West is executive director with Mississippi Families for Kids. She says she believes breaking the cycle of poverty starts at a young age.

"We got to teach our children how to understand money," said West. "We got to teach them how to use money. We got to teach them how to save money so that they can be the ones who break the cycle of poverty."

Mississippi Families for Kids hosted the seventh annual Black Family Summit. The theme for this year's summit is the economic impact of poverty on families of color.

Lindsey Shaw of Jackson attended the summit. She's a researcher at Jackson State University's Mississippi Urban Research Center.

"It just brings back that sense of consciousness to me that my decisions on a daily basis financially, emotionally, spiritually, all of my decisions that I make for myself have an impact on my family, on my community, and sometimes we lose sight of that," said Shaw.

Participants say having more conversations about money will help people feel more comfortable talking about it.